Flourishing in a Platform Economy

How to be a successful platform

Tap into the enormous economic potential of the platform economy. Whether you are an innovative start-up or a longer established company, you might want to rethink or broaden your business model.

The Platform Economy is enabled by technological developments in connectivity, automation and algorithms, offering enormous financial benefits and added value to all its participants. In 2021, the value of top 100 digital platforms globally reached over $15 trillion and continues to grow.  

A platform economy:

  • facilitates valuable interactions across its participants, with ability to create ecosystems and communities; 
  • ensures innovative and flexible business collaboration within and across sectors;
  • offers innovative solutions for the delivery of goods and services; and
  • provides access to new markets and customers on a local and global level

Digital platform

Your platform business model

The platform business model enables you to recognise/see the opportunities provided by the platform economy and to benefit from them;

Your platform business model:

  • makes it possible to reinvent or innovate your business, whilst challenging industry peers;
  • forms the basis for rapid growth;
  • creates the opportunity to monetize data through data acquisition and sharing, data flow control and data analysis;
  • allows for business scalability with marginal costs.

In the platform economy, it’s critical that you’re vigilant from the start. Focus on ensuring excellent user experience supported by trust-building mechanism and clear data strategy. A robust approach is necessary to protect your platform business, whilst ensuring its long term viability and profitability, balancing growth and risks. More mature platforms should focus on strengthening their back office with proactive risks management and controls and close eye on changes in regulations.

At PwC we’re ready to help you to successfully join the platform economy and to seize the opportunities provided by it.

Steps for setting up a platform business

Establish the platform business model and (technical) foundation

  • Define the core interaction
  • Define the platform “rules” and principles
  • Create initial technical platform
  • Define long term view


Establish platform operating model

  • Define the key elements of the Operating Model 
  • Determine engagement model with participants
  • Design & implement flexible and scalable front and back office
  • If part of existing company, define how to ‘co-exist’

Launch initial platform

  • Attract and keep initial participants
  • Develop further and iterate, automate focusing on great user experience, trust and data

Scale the platform

  • Add more interactions to platform 
  • Launch in new markets
  • Continuously improve and prioritise, keeping focus on the long term view


Follow us

Contact us

Ron Martinek

Ron Martinek

Partner, Microsoft Alliance Lead Netherlands, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 243 92 72